Before and after the super actors

Who are the speakers and what do they talk about?


This part of the work was introduced in order to see who speaks, about what topics and in which field (Scholar, LexisNexis, Google search). Because of this, we used materials we gained in protocol [2.1]. We used the full texts to make a semantic analysis and their related metadata do get the authors. We stated to see what happened before and after the foundation of Uber (the one with the largest amount of fund raised) in 2009, to understand how its arrival on the marked also changed sharing economy world topics


Once downloaded all the metadata of the articles and full texts when available (as explained in the protocol of section [2.1]), we needed for a tool able to make semantic analysis of text. To do this we used Mallet. We operated in this way: subdivision of texts between before and after 2009 but also in different fields. Semantic analysis of each group of texts made by Mallet, reporting 5 main topics per group. Sum of equal topics’ percentages in each analysis group. Calculation of the percentage of total usage of topics. Retaining only the first three topics emerged in percentage used in each group, we could have an idea of the main issues treated in our two time periods.

So we had at disposition the names of authors who had written papers, press articles or on websites; when they wrote it and the main topics.

How to read it

The resulting visualization is vertically split. On the left side we see what happened before 2009, on the right the following years until now. The internal points ring shows any of the authors speaking about our theme, divided into academic, news and websites authors. The three main topics of each field are displayed in the outer part. The bar chart reports the Mallet percentage given to each topic. Moreover, we linked some authors with their relative personal blogs/websites.


By this visualization we obtained different acknowledgements. The first one is related to the link between academic authors and blogs: the fact that they exist only on the right side of the graph could mean that, after 2009, sharing economy has become a more popular topic, so that they needed to create an own blog (for a more informative purpose than papers). Watching at fields, we had to important insights. First, in the academic world, you can see how different are topics before 2009 and after. On the left we can read academic controversies related to the lack of a “shared” definition for the phenomenon; on the right the topic moves to focus on two particular companies, Uber and Airbnb. This underlines a shift of theme, from abstract to their actual impact. For what concerns news, then, the shift is from already concrete ideas of sharing economy applications, always to the same real companies. Here we can see how disruptive has been their growth in sharing economy world.


Timestamp: 09/12/2015

Data source: Google Scholar, LexisNexis, Google Search

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